More Joyous firmed into favouritism for the G1 W S Cox Plate this week following news unbeaten mare Atlantic Jewel has gone amiss.
TAB Sportsbet elevated the John Singleton homebred to head the market at $6. She was a fading fifth in the 2010 Cox Plate won by So You Think and connections elected to side-step the 2011 weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley.
More Joyous (6m More Than Ready – Sunday Joy by Sunday Silence) has claimed 8 Group 1 events and she was very impressive winning a Randwick trial on Monday in advance of a first-up start in the Sheraco Stakes next month.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse sympathised with Atlantic Jewel’s owners this week. “You don’t like any good horse being ruled out,” she said at Canterbury. “Coolmore would be terribly disappointed and Mark Kavanagh would be devastated.”
More Joyous was unbeaten during a ground-breaking autumn campaign that culminated with G1 triumphs in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The champion mare has won 19 of her 26 starts for over $4.25 million in earnings. The history-making Doncaster – Queen Elizabeth double also sent her clear of Phelan Ready ($3.52 million) as More Than Ready’s top prizemoney earner.
More Joyous is inbred 3×3 to Halo (Hail to Reason) who is the paternal grandsire of More Than Ready and the maternal grandsire of her dam through his illustrious son Sunday Silence.
Vinery champion More Than Ready will stand for a $121,000 (inc gst) service fee in 2012.